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23 September declared EU Organic Day

A declaration was signed in Brussels today, which declares 23 September as EU Organic Day. The declaration was signed by the Chair of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, the Slovenian Agriculture Minister Jože Podgoršek, together with the European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski and Benoit Lutgen, Member of the European Parliament.

The sustainable and environmentally friendly production of safe and quality food has become increasingly challenging but is nevertheless a long-term goal of the European Union.  Organic farming is one sustainable farming method that facilitates the sustainable management of natural resources and the implementation of the animal welfare principle.

The Council of the EU supported efforts to develop organic farming and the proposal to declare EU Organic Day as part of the Council conclusions on the action plan for the development of organic production, adopted at the meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in July. Issues covered by these conclusions include highlighting the aim of raising awareness of organic farming and the Council's agreement that proposed actions in the action plan can contribute to a further positive development of organic farming and production in the EU.

The scope of organic farming and organic food has been constantly increasing. The interest of consumers in such products and food is also increasingly greater, as they are becoming more aware and exacting about the quality and safety of food. "By increasing income in rural areas, organic farming can play a central role in the recovery of Europe based on green and digital transition. Increasing the share of farming that is organic will contribute to strengthening shorter supply chains and provide additional opportunities to small farms," said Minister Podgoršek on signing the declaration.

Today's signing is the result of the efforts by the European Commission to raise awareness of the importance of organic production of food and feedingstuffs in the European Union. European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski highlighted that “Today we celebrate organic production, a sustainable type of agriculture where food production is done in harmony with nature, biodiversity and animal welfare. 23 September is also autumnal equinox, when day and night are equally long, a symbol of balance between agriculture and environment that ideally suits organic production. I am glad that together with the European Parliament, the Council, and key actors of this sector we get to launch this annual EU organic day, a great opportunity to raise awareness of organic production and promote the key role it plays in the transition to sustainable food systems.”

Benoit Lutgen, Member of the European Parliament highlited: “I must thank all pioneers of organic farming in the EU. Without them, we could not celebrate a day like this. Today, they must be delighted, because we finally have a day dedicated to them. In the past decades, the consumption of organic products increased, but it still needs an additional push in the food chain for a better future of organic farming. Farmers have to choose to change their farming into organic production.”

Representatives of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions and representatives of non-governmental organisations were also present at the signing.

EU Organic Day will be marked every year on 23 September to raise awareness about organic farming. Promotional activities will be carried out to raise awareness among consumers and the wider public of the advantages of organically produced and processed food.